If you are a bread maniac like myself, you probably know that the struggle with storing all the different types of flour there is in the market is real! Spelt flour has particularly been one of my favorite flour to incorporate in my bread purely because of the flavor it adds to the bread. Spelt flour is great for its natural nutty flavor and is known to have higher content of minerals and fiber compare to normal white wheat flour.
Before you start making this bread, you need to have a ripened sourdough starter to begin with. The additional yeast added to the recipe helps the dough rise quicker and it doesn't affect much of its flavor since most of the flavor comes from the spelt flour anyway.
Soaking the raisins
Whenever you want to incorporate dried fruits to your bread, it is always advisable to soak the fruits in warm water for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure that the dried fruits do not soak up all the water in the recipe necessary for a soft loaf of bread. Strain the soaked fruits before incorporating in to the dough.
Adding nuts or fruits in to dough.
Once the dough have been fully developed in the stand mixer, I like to transfer the dough on to a lightly oiled container, leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes so that the gluten can relax a little. Once the dough starts to lax slightly, gently press the dough flat in to a rectangle, top with 1/3 of the nuts or fruits, then pull the top edge and fold over half way to the center and do the same to the opposite ends. Top with more fruits/nuts and repeat the process from the other two ends. and finish off by adding the rest of the inclusions.
I would not recommend adding in inclusions in the mixer as the machinery can pull and break the gluten of the dough while trying to incorporate the inclusions. Nice and gentle is the way to go.
Do not worry if at this point the inclusions are not fully incorporated yet, as you will fold it once more before letting it bulk ferment further half way in the process.
115 g Sourdough Starter - ripe
340 g Water - at 35°C
45 g Golden Syrup
35 g Unsalted Butter (Melted and cooled)
200 g Spelt Flour
350 g Bread Flour
12 g Salt
6 g Instant Yeast
150 g Plump Raisins (Pre soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and strained)
1. Place all the ingredients except the salt and soaked Raisins into a stand mixer bowl with a dough hook. Mix for 4 minutes on low
2. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes covered with a damp cloth. Add in the salt and mix on medium speed for 12 minutes or until the dough looks like it has develop some strength.
3. Transfer the dough on to a oiled container, fold in the soaked and drained raisins by hand then leave covered to rest for 30 minutes with a lid on. Fold the dough on the four ends tugging it in underneath, then let it bulk ferment for another 60 minutes. The dough should feel light and airy at this point.
If you are working in a cold kitchen, allow additional time.
4. Once the dough have doubled in size, divide in to 2 x 550 g portion. (Alternatively, portion 8 equal portion of small individual rolls) Gently deflate then roll them in to a semi tight log, place into a oiled bread loaf baking tins. Leave to final proof or until the dough increases 75% in size. Ensure that the baking tins are oiled well especially the edges for easy release after baking.
Place in a pre-heated oven at 190°C and bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until the top turns to dark golden color.
5. Tilt the bread tins to release the bread and place on wire rack to fully cool before cutting.
Toast the sliced bread and eat with goats cheese and/or honey.